Content marketing has become a top priority for marketers looking to drive awareness, generate qualified leads, and convert those leads into sales. But content marketing is difficult when you have consumers using multiple devices, social networks, and platforms on the internet.
However, leading independent research firms such as Aberdeen Research, Forrester Research, the Content Marketing Institute, and Brightcove are helping marketers learn the best practices necessary to reach your audience through strategic content marketing. Specifically, Brightcove has unleashed the following infographic available for download on the Brightcove website:
Infographic: Make Content Marketing Work in a Social, Mobile World
The infographic starts by identifying that 9 out of 10 marketers plan to use content marketing in 2012. This is because traditional marketing efforts fall short and don’t produce the results marketers are looking for because consumers are already 70% through the sales process before they start to engage directly with the product or service they’re interested in.
Video proved to be the most effective media for content marketing. There was 35% growth in branded content views from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011. The key is figuring out how to create compelling branded content that doesn’t shout at consumers like typical push advertising. The good news is the playing field is open. 84% of Internet users across 56 countries watch video at home on a computer at least once a month. So start producing some video that relates to your target audience and is worth sharing.
Video-centric content marketing also increased awareness, engagement, leads, and sales. Did you know videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of search engine result pages than text pages? And that video used in your email marketing increases the click through rate by 96%? Video is key. Start producing video. When launching a campaign think about guiding users to a landing page that includes a video. Adding a video to a landing page can double your conversion rate. Now make that video shareworthy, and watch the results increase.
Breaking through the noise of social buzz is hard. With 845 million + post a day on Facebook, 465 million + tweets a day on Twitter, and 15 million + checkins on FourSquare a day, how can your brand shine? Easy. Think about where your customers interact and engage. Hit them there. Don’t blast garbage content onto Google+ if your audience doesn’t hang out there. Maybe your audience is big mobile users. Most people spend more time using mobile apps than the mobile web. Think about a brand-aligned mobile app that provides value to your customers and great brand awareness for you.
The key is to use a platform or service that helps you build loyalty, expand your reach, report on valuable analytics, and drives great business value. Learn your audience and play where they play.
Another Blog post for the Skyword blog. This post looks at the uses of Google’s Keyword Tool as part of your content strategy. One of the biggest challenges faced when looking to create content is the topics and kinds of content that need to be created. Using a tool like Google’s keyword tool will help you identify hot keywords and search terms that may be worth creating for.
You may identify there’s a significant amount of searches around terms like “how to video for building a deck” or “images of candy”. In those scenarios it would be wise to not only write some content, but perhaps produce a how to video on building decks or putting together a candy photo shoot. In either case, identify the needs of your target audience and produce content that meets those needs and provides superior value.
Here’s a snippet of the article:
One of the first steps in developing a content strategy is identifying trends, opportunities, or keywords to produce content for. The Google keyword tool makes finding keywords a breeze. Anyone who has managed a Google AdWords campaign has probably seen this tool conveniently located under the Tools and Analysis tab.
The tool is easy to use and can provide valuable information to marketers. Imagine knowing exactly what customers were searching for online, how many times per month they searched for it, and if the competitors had content against those search terms. That’s exactly what the keyword tool can help with. It can be extremely useful in determining good opportunity keywords for PPC campaigns but can also be an integral part of identifying keywords for a content strategy… Read the Full Article
Google is piloting a new feature that displays author information next to their content in search results, as a way to help users discover great content and personalize the experience that much further. It’s no surprise that a key element to the Google Authorship initiative is an authors Google+ profile. The failing social network is a ghost town and almost impractical for any marketer who has already invested in more popular networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
However, the Google Authorship play is a nice touch by Google and actually has legs to be quite beneficial. Before getting into the benefits of Google Authorship, if you’d like to do this yourself here is what Google says you should do:
You can link the content you publish on a specific domain (such as www.example.com) to your Google+ profile.
- Sign up for Google+ and create a Google+ profile.
- Make sure you have a profile photo with a recognizable headshot (preferably a professional photo).
- Make sure a byline containing your name appears on each page of your content (for example, “By Hank Marducas”).
- Make sure your byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile.
- Verify you have an email address (such as email@example.com) on the same domain as your content. (Don’t have an email address on the same domain? Use this method to link your content to your Google+ profile)
- Return to this page and enter your email address.
Simple as that, now you’re authored and Google will add your mug next to all of your content in search results. But there’s more benefits to Google Authorship than just having your photo appear next to your content. Let’s take a look:
Bonus Links After a Back-Button Click
As SearchEngineLand reported: Google has confirmed that there’s a hidden benefit to having authorship status: If a user returns to the search results after reading an author-tagged search result for a certain period of time (the theorized time is 2 minutes), Google will add three additional links to similar articles from the same author below the originally clicked link. See below:
With Google putting more and more emphasis on personalizing content, the social aspect of Google Authorship is obvious with back-button additional links. But you’ll also notice the “More by Author Name” link above the meta description. Readers now have the ability to read more by a specific author if they like their work. The benefit for authors is obvious here, more interested readers, more views to your work.
I Just Figured Out Authorship, What the Heck is Author Rank?
Now what’s most important about Google Authorship is something in the works called Author Rank discussed by Search Engine Journal and SEOmoz. It’s been said that Google will assign a value to authors, not only on the quality of their content and the sites they write for, but also the size of your audience and your participation in Google+. A genius move by Google to entice activity on their dying social network. Of course Google has thought out a fairly extensive algorithm or system to calculate how authoritative you are about a certain subject matter. Which may include the following: Google+ engagement levels, +1′s and shares per post, # of circlers, authority of publishing sites, comments per post, and authority on non Google networks.
It’s a good idea to figure out how you can incorporate Google Authorship on your own blog and any other publications you may write for. It’s still a bit spotty now, as far as how often authorship shows up, and what’s the future of the feature but if you think you’ve got it set up you can use the rich snippets tool to test it out. Very easy to use, and very helpful. Then play around with different search terms to see which content of yours is showing with the authorship attached.
It’s almost 2013 and a common question these days asked by marketers is can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing? The answer is yes. BUT it depends. The ROI of social media isn’t as plain and simple as say measuring your PR efforts. As Scott Monty at Ford says, “what’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?”
The fact is, you need to be in the social media space. Figuring out how to turn Reach, Friends of Friends, and @mentions into actionable insight is just like any other marketing initiative. Determine what your objectives are, the tactics you’ll take to achieve those objectives, and how you’ll measure success.
WHAT IS THE ROI OF SOCIAL MARKETING
Forrester Research put out a whitepaper called “The ROI of Social Marketing” and in it they attempt to discuss why social media is important, and what is the return on investment (ROI) for your social media efforts. They prescribe an approach that should work for brands, B2B, manufacturers, etc. ROI doesn’t always have to equal dollars and cents. So for marketers looking to measure the ROI of their social media marketing, this should be the Holy Grail.
Forrester explains that understanding the effectiveness of your social programs, in the context of your business objectives, is the key to seeing the benefits of these campaigns. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s all in how you tie the measurement of success to your overall objectives. Forrester then breaks it down quite nicely, they suggest looking at your metrics in four silos: Financial, Digital, Brand, and Risk Management.
WHAT DOES THE ROI OF SOCIAL MEDIA TRULY DELIVER
Before we get into defining those four silos, lets look at what the return on investment for social media really delivers. The results are more substantial than just mere numbers. Investment in social media is increasing, but without standardized measurement practices understanding why social media is important it’s still a challenge. Simply implementing a strategy to increase Facebook likes and Twitter followers, and then applying values from other channels, like Public Relations, to social interactions isn’t providing true ROI. It is not apples to apples. The return on investment for social media truly comes from the interactions and relationships built with your customers. 60% of consumers expect brands to respond to them online, and that probably a driver to why brands are in this space. But sadly enough only 30% of brands actually do respond! So think of that right there. Maybe you want to measure the return on investment for responding back to consumers within social media platforms and the associated reduction in customer service costs?
A BALANCED APPROACH DOES THE BODY GOOD
Financial: have you increased revenue or profit, or decreased costs because of your social media efforts?
Brand: has your brand perception improved among consumers?
Digital: has your company enhanced its owned and earned digital assets within social media?
Risk Management: is your company prepared to document and respond to all inquiries through social media, whether bad or good?
The answer to these should all be yes. And if they are you’re one step closer to proving to your superiors why social media is important, and the return on investment for your social marketing can be measured. Are your social media efforts helping you achieve your objectives? Forrester provides this nifty little figure to help you visualize your own social media marketing measurement.
The financial perspective aims to measure social media’s impact on sales and revenue. Use social media to affect the reach of your email campaigns, coupons, discounts, sales, etc. That way you can tie back directly to the increase in sales.
Determining your brand perception could be done using a focus group. But that’s old school, everyone knows that shit doesn’t work. Poll your audience on Facebook, ask questions on Twitter, and read comments on your blog to determine whether consumers are reacting positively to your messaging. Reward those that consistently interact. Let your customers into your world and provide a better experience through social media. You have a direct line to your customers. Use it. But don’t abuse it.
There are a few approaches to measuring success in owned media (company websites, online communities, blogs) and earned media (mentions of the company, links, user generated content). Measure the impact your digital assets have on SEO. Are your whitepapers creating valuable links to your website? Is your Facebook page driving traffic to your website? Does your blog inspire readers to tweet about your brand? This is especially important for brands that do not sell directly to the consumer and cannot tie in the financial piece as easily.
Lastly, are you responding to consumer inquiries? This creates dialog, and can divert customers from calling your customer service folks. This reduces the need for 24-hour people on site answering phones. I imagine a world where all customers service complaints will start with Twitter, and only escalate to a phone call or email in certain situations. Not to mention conversing with a customer on any social channel increases brand mentions.
AS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING MATURES, SO DOES THE ROI OF SOCIAL MEDIA
True social media measurement will no longer be based on the number of likes you have, but rather how and why social media helps you achieve fundamental business objectives. Social media will also shift to a long-term benefit. Don’t buy Facebook ads just to gain 500,000 fans then ignore them; it should be part of a long-term strategy to build a community and brand evangelists. It’s your job to engage with that community. Not all social media activities need to have an ROI associated. Simply listening is a valuable activity but may not provide ROI. However, you’ll learn valuable consumer perception about your brand and move your company further to achieving social media success.
Every marketer these days is buzzing about the new opportunities that exist online and trying to figure out where to find the newest and most insightful social media tips.
Try searching the Internet and you’ll be inundated with articles upon articles written by so-called social media gurus, ninjas, or wizards who claim they’ve got the answer to making big bucks with social media. While some of these articles may be entertaining, most are redundant and don’t offer any true insight as to how to connect and engage with your customers online. I hope I can do a better job with these 5 different social media tips..
Read the full article here.
I’m not the best writer but I’m learning a ton at my new company, Skyword, that practices what they preach by staying relevant and active on their blog. I hope to write more, and become more effective at translating my thoughts to words on the page.
Skyword is the leading content production platform. Skyword’s content production platform enables retailers, brands, media companies and agencies to acquire and engage customers by efficiently producing quality, brand-aligned content optimized for search and the social web.
Content is essential for reaching and engaging customers, but the creation process is messy, chaotic and immeasurable. Skyword’s platform makes it easy to produce, optimize, promote and measure the performance of content at any scale. Skyword is a privately held, privately funded company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image source: sigmawebmarketing
I recently signed up for an account with Crowdbooster, a social media monitoring and reporting tool, and immediately I’m impressed. The social media platform was built to optimize, monitor and report on a brand or users social media efforts. There are a lot of platforms out in the market right now but Crowdbooster does a few things right.
So Crowdbooster is different than HootSuite, CoTweet, or Seesmic in the sense that it’s working behind the scenes to understand the data. This alleviates some of the work that’s needed to be done by the social media or community manager. It then has the ability to recommend who you should interact with (based on Klout score), when you should interact, and what to share (by showing you real time analytics on previous posts). It really is pretty slick, a great social media monitoring tool you want to check out.
Features (from the Crowdbooster website)
Crowdbooster will deliver you actionable insights, rather than just present the information and let you decipher. Their analytics and recommendations show you how to reach the most important influencers, how you can create optimized content that will better relate to your audience, and even tell you what the best time of the day is to schedule your posts. For a social media or community manager that wear many hats, this is key in helping you schedule out and plan your day. If you keep a content calendar, this can dramatically improve your results and tie to your calendar and on-going initiatives.
At-a-glance insights about each message
With Crowdbooster, you can analyze the performance of your individual tweets and Facebook posts with a pretty cool looking interactive graph, and/or tables so you can easily and quickly understand what’s working and what isn’t. You can then customize date ranges to view the results of past campaigns. Features allow you to drill down further and see engagement metrics on Facebook and Twitters. This is helpful when you’re really trying to identify what resonates with your community. As you start to learn what content performs best, you can shift strategies to better align with audience needs.
Follower and Fan Growth
On Crowdbooster, you can track the growth of your community easily. You can see long-term benefits and short-term benefits by drilling down into individual posts. You can customize the date range or view a daily snap shot of how your community is doing. Crowdbooster makes it easy to download reports and track your progress. You’ll likely need to supplement your analytics with Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, and other Twitter metrics to get the whole picture on how your marketing efforts are doing. If you’re effective, you’re looking at how online community growth and interaction relates to web traffic to conversions. Or however it relates to your business.
Deep audience insights
In addition to basic social media monitoring, Crowdbooster lets you understand who the fans or influencers are that interact with you most. Then allows you to see who has the higher online influence. These are people you want to interact with, but don’t discredit folks with smaller following as you’ll want to interact with everyone as a general tactic. But it is effective if you can make some solid connections with industry players.
The social media monitoring game is getting flooded with platforms that promise a streamlined approach to social media management. You have to read between the lines and determine how these tools will work for your organization and your overall business objectives. But Crowdbooster has my recommendation.